China aims to vaccinate 40pc of population by end-July, says senior adviser

China aims to vaccinate 40pc of population by end-July, says senior adviser
China aims to vaccinate 40pc of population by end-July, says senior adviser

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - People fill forms before receiving a dose of a coronavirus disease (Covid-19) vaccine at a vaccination site in Shanghai, China January 19, 2021. — Reuters pic

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BEIJING, March 2 ― China aims to vaccinate 40 per cent of its population against Covid-19 by the end of July, a senior health adviser told Reuters today, requiring a significant increase in inoculations even as it ramps up exports of vaccines.

Zhong Nanshan, a coronavirus expert who helped shape China's Covid-19 response, said yesterday the current ratio of vaccine doses administered per 100 people in China is 3.56, much lower than those in Israel, United Arab Emirates and the United States.

In an online forum held by China's Tsinghua University and the Washington-based Brookings Institution yesterday, Zhong said the target was 40 per cent by the end of June, citing his contacts at the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

However, in a phone call with Reuters today, Zhong clarified that 40 per cent target would be hit in July, after taking into account the proportion of people who do not want to be vaccinated.

The 40 per cent by the end of July would include people who have received either one dose or two doses, Zhong said. Three Chinese-made vaccines require two shots, while another one requires a single dose.

China, which has approved four locally developed coronavirus vaccines for use on the general public, had administered 50.52 million doses as of February 28, Zhong said.

Authorities had aimed to vaccinate 50 million people before the Lunar New Year in February, official media outlet Global Times reported in January.

Sinovac Biotech's vaccine has been used in mass vaccination drives in Brazil, Turkey and Indonesia. CanSino Biologics Inc has agreed to supply millions of doses to Mexico. ― Reuters

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